The Hunger Games: All-Stars Edition.
The Girl on Fire is back- and she’s being forced to go through hell all over again.
She’s already endured it once- the painful memories of brutal deaths and lives ended too soon haunting her every waking moment– but now Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is forced to relive those moments and feed the people a lie through the Capitol’s twisted show of a “Victory Tour.”
When Katniss’ influence over the people of Panem proves to be too inspiring and starts filling them with too much hope, President Snow devises a way to once again instill fear into the citizens looking up to the Hunger Games’ past victors: bring them all back to fight against one another.
This second installment in the “Hunger Games” series delivers just as much of a solid, smart and exciting adventure as the original. It’s always hard to pull off a “link” film, but Director Francis Lawrence and co. do so in style. The material here is darker, even more heart-wrenching, and the tension is higher. However, “Catching Fire”s abrupt ending does feel like a sort of a cop out, even though it is apparently faithful to the novel. Perhaps some more closure could have been provided prior to that smash-cut to black, but it does still leave one in eager anticipation of “Mockingjay” in 2014.
Jennifer Lawrence (reigning Oscar winner) is the essence of the film, as always, and she is captivating throughout. I do miss the beautiful Jennifer Lawrence’s smile and joyful personality though, which are nowhere to be found in this film. But what can you do?
Though it may start to feel awfully similar to the first film and it may fall flat in a few scenes, “Catching Fire” is another compelling and emotional journey by Katniss Everdeen’s side.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is rated PG-13 for intense action sequences, violence, and scary images. Even though it does feature violence as a main theme, it is not glorified but rather is shown to cause only pain, heartache, and loss. Not appropriate for young children.
© Matt Tory, 2013.